In vSphere 6.0, we introduced a new command-line option to allow you to automate both the deployment and upgrade of a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and Platform Services Controller (PSC) using a simple JSON configuration file. This has been a very popular request from customers and one that I have been asking for some time now and was glad to see it was finally made available with the VCSA. One thing that was still missing from an Automation standpoint was being able to some basic post-configurations after the initial deployment. Common operations such as adding additional user accounts, configuring SNMP for monitoring or adding proxy server were available but had to be done interactively and manually.
In vSphere 6.0 Update 1, an enhancement was made to the appliancesh interface which will now allow customers to automate the post-configurations of either a VCSA or PSC by simply re-directing a series of appliancesh commands within a file using SSH. Although SSH may not be ideal for all customers and having a programmatic interface via an API is ultimately where we want to get to; This at least allows customers to automate the end-to-end deployment of both the VCSA and PSC as well as covering any additional post-configurations that might be required to stand up a vSphere environment.
To make use of this feature, you simply create a file that contains the list of appliancesh commands that you wish to run on either the VCSA and/or PSC. Here is an example configuration called psc.config (you can name it anything you want):
access.shell.set --enabled false
access.ssh.set --enabled false
ntp.server.add --servers "0.pool.ntp.org,1.pool.ntp.org"
timesync.set --mode NTP
services.restart --name ntp
proxy.set --protocol https --server proxy.primp-industries.com
localaccounts.user.add --email firstname.lastname@example.org --role operator --fullname 'William Lam' --username lamw --password 'VMware1!'
snmp.set --communities public --targets 192.168.1.160@161/public
Once you have saved the configuration file, you simply SSH to either your VCSA or PSC and re-direct the configuration file by running the following command:
ssh email@example.com < psc.config
Once authenticated, the series of appliancesh commands will be executed and then you will be automatically logged off as seen in the screenshot below.
If you have any feedback in this particular area, please leave a comment as I know both PM/Engineering are interested in hearing your thoughts and what you might want to see in the future in terms of post-configuration of the VCSA and PSC.